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How robust are the surface temperature fingerprints of the Atlantic Overturning Meridional Circulation on monthly time‐scales?

Alexander-Turner, R., Ortega, P. and Robson, J. I. (2018) How robust are the surface temperature fingerprints of the Atlantic Overturning Meridional Circulation on monthly time‐scales? Geophysical Research Letters, 45 (8). pp. 3559-3567. ISSN 0094-8276

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1029/2017GL076759

Abstract/Summary

It has been suggested that changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) can drive sea surface temperature (SST) on monthly timescales [Duchez et al., 2016]. However, with only 11 years of continuous observations, the validity of this result over longer, or different, time‐periods is uncertain. In this study, we use a 120‐yr long control simulation from a high‐resolution climate model to test the robustness of the AMOC fingerprints. The model reproduces the observed AMOC seasonal cycle and its variability, and the observed 5‐month lagged AMOC‐SST fingerprints derived from 11‐years of data. However, the AMOC‐SST fingerprints are very sensitive to the particular time‐period considered. In particular, both the Florida current and the upper mid ocean transport produce highly inconsistent fingerprints when using time‐periods shorter than 30 years. Therefore, several decades of RAPID observations will be necessary to determine the real impact of the AMOC on SSTs at monthly time‐scales.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:76614
Publisher:American Geophysical Union

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